Monday, 11 February 2013
Down a fourth
Bass Matthew Rose and pianist Gary Matthewman have a new record out, on Stone Records, of Schubert's great song cycle Die Winterreise. The disc is getting very good reviews and, though I have not heard the disc, I heard the two of them performing the cycle live at a private recital in 2011 and their performance was superb. But this brings me back to a subject that continually nags at me - transposition. Rose performs most of Schubert's songs transposed down a fourth (Schubert's originals are for the tenor voice). Is it acceptable to shunt Schubert's piano part down a fourth, does it make any difference? I suppose the answer is in the performance. a great performance transcends the medium. But still I worry.